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King Edward Hotel

It is not uncommon for upper-class hotels to have rooms dedicated to entertainment, parties, receptions, and convention hosting. In fact, most hotels in downtown Toronto have their own ballrooms for this purpose. But how many of them have ballrooms that have been sealed away since the 1950's?

Location attributes for King Edward Hotel
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Built :: Closed   Status   Difficulty
1921 :: 1950's   Formerly Abandoned   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   Security Risk   AUE Rating
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazard Observations   Security Observations
None Specified   Security Patrols

At the King Edward Hotel, located on the edge of Toronto's financial district, the Crystal Ballroom sits atop the hotel in the penthouse. Built as part of the 1921 expansion to the hotel and opened for use in 1922, it has seen it's fair share of social functions, conventions, and history. It was, for example, used by 700 medical practitioners on April 12, 1955 when the results of the polio vaccine trials were announced to the world. The ballroom had been equipped with two dozen television sets for the monumental announcement (source).

Looking at the ballroom today, however, you would never know this. Having been closed due to stricter fire codes, the ballroom has seen sporadic use for events such as Doors Open and fly fishing tutorials. Otherwise, it simply sits there only serving as a link to the past. The chandeliers are gone, save for one that sits in the middle of the floor. Worklights have been mounted where they once hung. Stage lights still line the edges of the walls, waiting for the next performance that may never occur.

The paint on the walls and ceiling is peeling in places, but the decor remains intact; large, golden patterns edge the vents, light mounts, and walls. The columns in the walls still retain their Romanesque column patterns. And the grand windows, while in need of a good cleaning, still allow the light of the sun and the city to bathe over the ballroom, and allow for an impressive view of the eastern half of the city.

For those looking for an artistically beautiful abandonment, the Crystal Ballroom at the King Edward Hotel cannot be missed. Will it ever see use again? While there are plans to bring it up to modern fire codes, only time will tell what ultimately occurs.

As of April 2017, the crown jewel is back at the King Edward Hotel. The ballroom has been fully restored and is open for events again.

Of Crystals And Ballrooms - December 2009
King Eddy - November 2011

Several changes have happened over the last two years... while empty, the floors have been cleaned of debris, including the fallen chandelier, and areas have been drywalled off. It isn't apparent why these changes were made, however.

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